The Washington Times-Herald

State News

October 24, 2012

Indiana’s third party sees progress beyond its wins

Libertarians work to build statewide organization

INDIANAPOLIS — Inside the Indiana Libertarian Party headquarters in downtown Indianapolis is a hardy band of volunteers who don’t see losing a political race quite the same way other people do.

They say the fact that there are 21 Libertarian candidates on the Indiana ballot – including candidates running for U.S. Congress, the Indiana General Assembly, governor and president – is in itself a victory.

The Libertarian Party is the only “minor” party that has guaranteed access to the Indiana ballot. It earned that access by meeting the state’s tough ballot-access laws, which requires a political party to earn at least 2 percent of the votes cast for secretary of state. Libertarians first gained automatic ballot access in 1994 and have hit their mark every four years since.

Still, it’s a struggle to compete as a third party in a system that favors the two big parties. As of the last fundraising tallies, which accounted for money raised through the end of June, the campaigns of Indiana’s Republican and Democratic gubernatorial candidates had raised a combined $14 million. The campaign of Libertarian candidate Rupert Boneham raised a tiny fraction of that, about $50,000.

That’s why Boneham’s campaign manager, Evan McMahon, works without a paycheck, surrounded by volunteers who believe in their cause as much – if not more – than their candidates.

“We’re trying to build a party. It’s hard, and it takes a lot of time,” said Chris Spangle, the executive director of the Indiana Libertarian Party – and its only paid staff member. 

Spangle has spent time on the road with Boneham – the state party’s most visible candidate, thanks to his celebrity status as a three-time cast member on the “Survivor” reality-TV series. But it’s Boneham who’s often behind the wheel of the campaign’s loaned RV, driving himself and a couple of the campaign’s volunteer staff around the state. They forgo hotel rooms on overnight trips and sleep in the RV’s fold-out beds.

Text Only
State News
  • nws-gb011714 Land Zeppelin 2 (front page pic) Inventor hopes Bike Zeppelin takes off GREENSBURG - A local civil engineer has created a Zeppelin-shaped apparatus that allows bicyclists to ride in the rain without getting wet. Greensburg resident Jim Gorman remembers the day that inspiration struck: Nov. 22, 2011. It rained all day, an

    January 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • Legislator pushes for public disclosure of former meth homes INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Wendy McNamara knew methamphetamine was a scourge on her district in southwestern Indiana, but the damaging effects of the drug really hit her when she met a real estate appraiser who’d suffered lung damage after visiting a

    December 14, 2013

  • Bird statue to be unveiled in Terre Haute Serving double duty as a baseball infielder for the American League's Toronto Blue Jays and basketball guard for Brigham Young University, 20-year-old Danny Ainge found time in March 1979 to drive from Provo, Utah, to Salt Lake City to catch an in-pe

    November 5, 2013

  • news school bill.jpg Pence announces school safety grants

    Flanked by fourth-grade members of the Ambassadors Club and student council at Cedar Elementary School here, Gov. Mike Pence announced more than $9 million in grants for schools statewide to enhance their security.

    November 1, 2013 1 Photo

  • Coats returns home to listen to Hoosiers INDIANAPOLIS -- Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Coats returned home to Indiana this week, hoping to turn the political conversation away from a failed GOP strategy that partially shut down the federal government and toward what he sees as more critical issu

    October 24, 2013

  • Congressman standing firm on government shutdown

    Todd Rokita of Indiana’s Fourth Congressional District has been an outspoken opponent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — a k a Obamacare — since it was signed into law in 2010.

    On Tuesday, the first day the federal government partially shut down in 17 years, the Republican congressman wasn’t backing down.

    October 1, 2013

  • Laws that carry automatic loss of driver's license under review INDIANAPOLIS -- The legislative study committee that proposed the massive rewrite of Indiana's felony code will soon take on another tough issue: The automatic penalty that causes thousands of Hoosiers to lose their driving privileges for committing

    September 19, 2013

  • Gingerich_AP PHOTO.jpg Prison sentence of 12-year-old prompts new juvenile sentencing law

    Three years ago, when 12-year-old Paul Henry Gingerich became the youngest person in Indiana ever sent to prison as an adult, his story gained international attention and sparked questions about whether children belong behind bars with grown-up offenders.

    June 14, 2013 2 Photos

  • Supt_Ritz 1 .jpg Ritz orders independent analysis of ISTEP results

    Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz has hired an outside expert to determine the validity of ISTEP+ test scores of nearly 80,000 students who were kicked offline while taking the high-stakes standardized test.

    June 10, 2013 1 Photo

  • State won’t use free lunch program as poverty indicator

    Indiana is changing the way it counts low-income students in public schools because Republican legislators suspect fraud in the federal school-lunch program used to measure poverty.

    May 23, 2013